def070312 - No.40

Session 2006-07, 12 March 2007

Publication of Report


The Government’s forecast of the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has increased significantly since last November, says a report by the House of Commons Defence Committee published today (Tenth Report, Session 2006-07, Costs of military operations:  Spring Supplementary Estimate 2006-07, HC 379).

The forecast cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the year 2006-07 has increased since the Winter Supplementary Estimates: from £860 million to £1,002 million for Iraq and from £540 million to £770 million for Afghanistan. Setting aside the costs of the new operational bonus and other costs which have been included for the first time, the MPs conclude that the forecast cost has risen by over 10% for Iraq and by almost a third for Afghanistan. The MoD says this increase is not due to recently announced changes in force levels.

The Committee also highlights the costs of the peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, which are forecast to be £53 million in 2006-07.

The report provides a breakdown of the costs of the operations in each theatre, and a comparison with previous years. The Committee calls on the MoD to explain why the cost of operations in Iraq is forecast to be higher this year than last, despite the reduced number of UK Forces there.

The report is published before the House of Commons is asked today to approve the latest changes to the Government’s expenditure plans (the Spring Supplementary Estimates).

The Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, Chairman of the Defence Committee, says “We all want our Forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to be properly funded, but the Ministry of Defence needs to justify these cost increases and ensure that the money is well spent.”


1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Chairman), Mr David S Borrow MP, Mr David Crausby MP, Linda Gilroy MP, Mr David Hamilton MP, Mr Mike Hancock MP, Mr Dai Havard MP, Mr Adam Holloway MP, Mr Bernard Jenkin MP, Mr Brian Jenkins MP, Mr Kevan Jones MP, Robert Key MP, Willie Rennie MP, John Smith MP

2. News Release: No. 40


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